Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a playground for whatever you can imagine, especially once you progress far enough to unlock terraforming. If you stock up on items from Nook’s Cranny, make the most of crafting, and group villagers’ houses and trees together, you can create enough open space to build anything you want. Anything, including the cutest music festival ever: Nook Fest 2020.
1Setting up the stage
The first thing you’re going to want to sort is a stage area. Considering it’s on an island, the beach might be the best option, though you could have a raised platform in the middle of an open space, too. In the attractions section, we’ll address making the most of raised cliffs on the island, so you should definitely check out that section for more information.
On the beach, there are really two options: at the back of the east or west beach – whichever one you have available depends on the island you originally chose – or on the south shore.
The east/west stage has more room for a crowd, but also takes up a lot of island space, while the south shore stage area is smaller, but can be neater. We opted for the south stage, imagining that the crowd might be just offshore on a private yacht. Everything here can work wherever you place the stage, be it east, west, south, or off the beach and on a cliff.
On a cliff, simply raising the land creates enough of a physical stage. But on the beach, you’re going to want a Log Dining Table, possibly even two pushed together for a jump stage. Lighting, speakers and a divider are a must – as are instruments, but we’ll do them next – and keeping to a theme is preferable. It’s your island, though, so if you want to be random, be random.
We’ve gone for a Bamboo Partition – this is for cordoning off the rest of the beach – Bamboo Speakers and Bamboo-Shoot Lamps. You’ll need to use a Nook Miles Ticket until you find a Bamboo Island, then bring as much as you can carry back. Keep harvesting it to unlock Bamboo recipes. You can find recipes for Wood, Iron and Fruit as well though, so don’t worry.
2Acquiring musical instruments
Visit the Nook Shop every day to try and find as many instruments as possible. We picked up our Alto Saxophone and High-end Stereo this way, and, for a bit of range, we’ve added a Rock Guitar, Amp and a Street Piano. To get the Street Piano, you’ll first need a regular Piano, a recipe and a Painting Set. You can also unlock a Drum Kit, Gong, Marimba and loads more for any style you desire.
If a villager has any musical instruments themselves – like Katt, on our island – you can spam them with gifts, and they’ll occasionally drop leftover stuff in the recycling box in Resident Services. All of the instruments in the game can be played, so if you get a crew of friends together, you can even form a band.
If you’ve ever glanced at Vanessa Hudgens’ Instagram feed during Coachella, you’ll know that festivals are not only about the music. Attractions – whether it’s a garden or theme park ride – make your festival (and island!) unique to you. Here’s a few for inspiration.
You might have noticed that Blathers are finding more duplicates in your daily fossils. It’s worth keeping your favourite set to build a show-stopping outdoor dinosaur skeleton. We’re standing on terraformed letters of our island name in the image below, in front of our sports area, which is made up of a soccer pitch (Soccer Goals can be bought, the pitch markings have to be created or downloaded) and a Basketball Hoop right now.
You can also corral together some outdoor equipment like the Radio, Camping Cot, Sleeping Bag, Hammock, Swinging Bench and Outdoor Picnic Set (this is a limited cherry blossom event item) to create a mini campsite.
You might want a playpark, too – we put ours on the northwest beach – where things like a Candy Machine, Climbing Wall, Cotton Candy Stall, Elephant Slide and Teacup Ride can provide entertainment. We also built a raised gaming area – which is basically what a non–beach stage can look like – with a Cardboard Sofa, Magazines, Nintendo Switch, Cherry Speakers and a Foosball Table. Also, a Portable Toilet, which is a must for any music festival.
4Don’t forget the refreshments and merch
If you create a second account on your Switch, you can use that account to visit your own island and your second avatar will get their own house, which you can turn into a café or bar, as we have. All those festival-goers will need refreshments, after all.
You can also use your Nook Miles to buy a Stall recipe, which, combined with some easy-to-create food court designs, can provide concert-goers with a wide range of refreshments. We also put Log Round Tables outside of our café and along the beach, complete with Coconut Juice and a Marimba for some downtime away from the main stage.
As well as a food court, you can use those stands to create a merch seller, with your headline act or festival name displayed. You might even want to design an official festival shirt and display the mannequin of that nearby.
5Bring in the villagers!
Finally, you’ll want to rope in your villagers. Once you unlock Able Sisters, you can put your designs on the wall and, in time, your villagers will start to wear your clothes, including the festival shirts. If you’re after a specific vibe, you can also buy multiples of an item and hand them out to your villagers to make sure they all look the part.
If you want to get as creative as possible, we recommend you try and keep all the villagers’ houses bunched together to create an open space. In our case, we put our Snooty villager Freya at the top of a cliff with her own private pool to give her the VIP experience: she’s definitely the Vanessa Hudgens of our island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch.